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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  March 31, 2011 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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>> i think you learned something. >> what's that? >> about being transparent when we talk about our friends. >> who's that? >> donald. >> what about im? >> that's all. >> willie, what did you learn? >> i'll echo what pat said, there's a rag tag bunch of kids tacking the subway at yankee stadium this morning. getting ready, the little team that could trying to fell the mighty red sox. >> mike barnicle, are we going to have to hear this all year? >> we'll have to hear it until about june 15th when they're about ten games out. >> willie, if it's way too early, what time is it? >> it's "morning joe." see everyone back tomorrow. stick around right now for "the daily rundown" with chuck and savannah. top-secret no more. word breaks of cia operatives on the ground in libya as debate rages in washington over how tightly to embrace the rebels there. traces of radiation found in mil samples from california to washington. what u.s. health officials say
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about the risk to the population here. plus, a budget deal resurrects. with eight days to go, lawmakers may have found the magic number. but have they found the votes? good morning, everyone, it's thursday, march 31st, 2011. i'm savannah guthrie. and i guess it's going to snow? what? >> i'm chuck todd. it's opening day, though. it's opening day, can't you feel it? couldn't you tell it was opening day baseball -- >> when i was shoveling? >> no. >> spring is in the air. a little depressing. also this morning, our interview, the exclusive for this hour, of an interview with donald trump. he's eyeing 2012, or apparently, just simply wants to talk about being a birther. we'll ask him both of those questions and more. let's get to the rundown. we'll begin in libya and a critical decision coming from the president. how far will the u.s. go to help rebels knock moammar gadhafi out of power? here's what we've learned. the president has issued a secret finding authorizing a plan for covert action, including a plan, potentially, to arm the opposition. the white house says he has not
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decided whether to let these operatives to actually do just that. at the same time, teams of cia agents are inside libya, trying to figure out just exactly who would get those weapons. it's not sitting well right now with some. the head of nato right now who says the u.n. mandate does not allow for arming rebels, but there's been some back and forth about that. nato took over as head of the full military mission in libya today. on the battlefield, rebels continue to lose ground to gadhafi's military, miles at a time. in just a matter of days, the front lines have moved over 100 miles east. nbc's jim maceda for us is live in tripoli. jim, i want to ask you this, because some here in washington worry that we're overdramatizing the back and forth of the rebels. that, you know what, they're not always in retreat. sometimes they're going back to just simply rearm. >> well, i mean, the rebels are clearly hurting, chuck. that retreat that you just mentioned has really been at a dizzying pace. i mean, i've been covering these types of things for a number of
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years, and i have never seen anything quite like this. you know, as we speak, most of those rebels are licking their wounds, trying to figure out what to do next in ajdabiya, on the western gate. that means that the lead that you just read is already a bit old. it's about 200 miles now to the east of where they were actually hit by that wall of fire from, by the way, and we've underreported this, but we're talking about local militias that are doing the damage. armed civilians. they're in jeeps, they're in pickup trucks, they ambushed the rebels. gadhafi's weapons are being used to push them back. but it's these militias that have been really successful in now flanking the rebels and from do. so that's kind of negated the threat from the nato war planes. now, rebel leaders are asking for anti-tank weapons, they want shoulder-fired rockets. but, again, we've said this before. this is going to take, you know, professional soldiers months to
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learn how to use. and we're certainly not dealing with professional soldiers. chuck? >> jim, let me ask you about the foreign minister, musa kusa, who apparently has defected to britain. we know that one of the strategies that u.s. officials are hoping will pay off is the sense that the people around gadhafi will start to fold, collapse, and desert him. is this a sign of that? >> reporter: well, let me tell you a quick anecdote. before i got here, i asked a western libyan expert who will go unnamed what that person would consider to be a telltale sign that gadhafi was really in serious trouble. and that expert answered, if musa kusa bolts. so this is a big blow. i mean, he's not just the face of libya for the international community, he's the former chief of intelligence, he's now talking, as you said, to british officials, who says, by the way, he doesn't have immunity from prosecution. he's believed to be very deeply involved in the pan am 103 lockerbie bombing.
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but that negotiation could change things, in exchange for intelligence about gadhafi's real role, for instance, in that attack, which hague prosecutors are looking for. that said, is it a lethal blow? not yet. i mean, gaffe gadhafi is the state, the cabinet, and the government all rolled into one. unless the inner circle, including his sons, abandon ship as well. but we're not there yet. >> jim maceda with all the headlines out of tripoli this morning, thank you, jim. >> you know, savannah, intelligence officials have been emphasizing as much as the media is fascinated by what these covert actions are doing, what the cia folks have been doing on the ground, and they've been on the ground for a while now, musa kusa. that, they say, could be the real game changer, because he could provide actual -- he could provide actual intelligence about where he is, where some of his -- gadhafi's missions are. >> his mental at a time, his approach -- >> all sorts of things that could suddenly assist in speeding up the ousting. >> because the information is current, presumably, because
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it's so recent. we'll move to japan. the latest figures out of that country are devastating. nearly 28,000 people are dead or missing following that massive tsunami and earthquake. hundreds of bodies are still among the debris, but recovery has been very slow, particularly, of course, in the contaminated area around that troubled fukushima nuclear plant. let's get to nbc's lee cowan. he's live for us in tokyo. lee, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. it's a pretty grim situation. the recovery of people, especially in the evacuation zone has been slowed, because, obviously, they don't want to send crews into that area, they can't send crews into that area. and even if they did, the question is, how do you -- what to do with those remains. the custom here is cremation, but some are suggesting if the bodies are contaminated with radiation, that's not an option. burying them, as well, there's also some concern that the radiation could leak into the soil itself. all of this depends on what kind of radiation, some will break down quickly, so it wouldn't be
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a concern, but obviously just making a tough situation that much tougher. some more news today, the iaea came out and said they had done their own independent tests of soil outside that evacuation zone and found dangerous levels of radiation some 25 miles away from the plant, suggesting that perhaps the japanese government should expand that evacuation zone, perhaps even double it. the japanese government said they're not going to do that at this point. they're going to monitor it themselves. they say their numbers are a little different because they do different kinds of testing, so it's a little back and forth, but another indication that perhaps this crisis could, in fact, spread. savannah? >> and lee cowan, very quickly, radiation in the ocean? that's another thing they feel like they've gotten? they've studied? >> reporter: yes. it's been going up -- sort of up and down, chuck, the last couple of days. over the weekend, it was about 1,300 times normal. then it dropped for no real reason, they don't know exactly why. and the next day, went up to 2,000 times the level, 3,000 times. today, it's 4,000 times the normal levels of radioactivity
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in the water, radioactive idean in the water. day after day, it's another sign that that leak continues. >> lee cowan for us in tokyo, thanks very much. and authorities here say elevated levels of radioactive iodine have been found in milk in the united states. it's far, far below any amount that would be dangerous. but traces of radioactive iodine 131 were taken in california and washington state last week. the amounts are still 5,000 times below levels of concerns. still, the epa is stepping up radiological testing in milk across the country. that news about the ocean is really scary. we'll move to capitol hill. lawmakers have had a breakthrough in their budget talks. vice president biden was on the hill last night to reassure democrats that the white house is on the same page with them. and need we remind you, the clock is ticking. government money runs out in just eight days.
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kelly o'donnell is nbc news capitol hill correspondent. kelly o., are we close to a deal here? >> reporter: well, certainly the vice president was very agreeable sounding when he had his meeting with senate democrats. they're spoede to be back at the table this morning, and vice president biden said the target number should be about $33 billion. some republicans i've talked to say that's in the right ballpark, but house republicans say it is too soon to put that kind of a number out there, because there are still so many substantiative things to work out. but mr. biden seemed to think there was good progress. now, a different tone coming from speaker boehner and majority leader reid. now, boehner's point is that senate democrats haven't passed anything, and it's been about 40 days since the house took action. so here was john boehner's sort of unusual take on things. >> the senate says we have a plan. well, great. pass the damn thing, all right! and send it over here and let's have real negotiations instead of sitting over there rooting for a government shutdown.
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>> reporter: and then majority leader reid had a somewhat different approach, trying to say that john boehner is being pushed by the tea party. and we expect a big tea party demonstration here on the hill today to try to keep that pressure up for deeper and deeper cuts, so here's what reid had to say about the tea party's influence on john boehner. >> he's getting a lot of pressure from the tea party folks to dig in his heels, even if it hurts and destroys the recovery that we have going now. what's worse, the country doesn't care much about the tea party. >> reporter: oh, "the country doesn't care much about the tea party." that is the way harry reid is trying to frame things, to diminish their influence while at the same time speaker boehner is also trying to keep h his te together, if you will. and newt gingrich, a blast from the past, will be here to address the house gop freshman, someone who knows something about government shutdowns and how to stay in the news, he will be here today and it will be interesting to see what influence he has, if any. chuck, savannah? >> he also knows about a coup
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from within his own party, maybe he'll have a chat with baoehner. >> i'm trying to figure this out, if this were a game of chicken on these budget negotiations, then the democrats and white house pulled to the side of the road a long time. they're now up to $33 billion. remember the original house republican from paul rand was $34 billion. yesterday press secretary jay carny said there wasn't a line in the sand, apparently it's a line in the air, with vetoing anything with writers. so what's the incentive to cut the deal now if every day democrats come closer? >> but they seem to have agreed on a topline number, but not how to get there. it seems to me there's a lot more negotiating to go. coming up next, with prices at the pump soaring, unrest across the middle east spreading, president obama goes where many presidents before him have gone and without much success for them. laying out a plan to cut america's reliance on foreign oil. can he do it? and still to come, we're
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going to talk to the donald. he says we need to be taking him more seriously about this idea of him running for president. would america tell him you're hired for presidency? we had to go there once. and is challenging president obama's citizenship simply an attempt to win over the tea party? but first, a look ahead at the president's scheduled today. it's publicly pretty idle. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. those w grass doesn't turn green just because the calendar says to. and that a big difference can grow from a small budget. for those of us with grass on our sneakers... dirt on our jeans... and a lawn that's as healthy as our savings... the days are about to get a whole lot greener. ♪ more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. we're lowering the cost of well-grounded plants. with miracle-gro garden soil for just $3.97.
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when i was elected to this office, america imported 11 million barrels of oil a day. by a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut that by one third. >> well, unrest in the middle east is driving up gas prices. the nuclear meltdown in japan has americans worrying about
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power plants in their backyards. and as the political season kicks into high gear, we may be hearing drill, baby, drill, again as a popular refrain. >> the president responded to all of that yesterday by laying out what he calls a blueprint for a secure energy future. but the folks who have been around washington for a while, those promises sounded very familiar. watch. >> at the end of the decade, in the year 1980, the united states will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need. >> we must reduce oil imports by 1 million barrels per day by the end of this year. >> beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977. never. >> another great goal, to replace more than 75% of our oil imports from the middle east by 2025. >> well, carl davenport, reports on energy for "national journal"
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and kevin book is managing director of the research firm clear view energy partners, an energy research and consulting firm. all right, coral, how about that trip down memory lane? it was a 50-minute speech, a push to try to come up with an energy policy and he's been a little bit snake bit, right? last year, right when he was coming out, the oil spill. this year, this nuclear catastrophe in japan. how seriously do you take this proposal? >> well, to the president's credit, he came right out of the gate and he said, you know, exactly what you just showed. presidents have been trying to do this for 40 years. we've heard this again and again. we've seen these piecemeal efforts. we've seen efforts of big, comprehensive real change fall to the wayside again and again and again. and essentially that is what the president has done. he came into office with a really big, sweeping ambitious, real comprehensive energy plan and the events that -- the gulf spill last year, the nuclear disaster this year, the fact of
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a republican house, all of that has swept that agenda off the table. it's not possible to move that big, comprehensive agenda anymore. and so if you look at what he's done, he has taken about four or five sort of individual pieces from that agenda that maybe do have a political chance, and also, that play well into the political reals rigrealities ri that touch into gas prices and drilling, and he's put them together and reframed them and repackaged them and called this his new plan. >> let's talk about one of them. it seems to me the biggest dispute yesterday with the dueling press releases was over this issue of whether or not oil companies are sufficiently exploiting or using the oil leases they already have for domestic explorations. so the president's saying, hey, i'm all for increased domestic production. oil companies, you're sitting on leases idly and not doing the exploration. republicans say, no, you need to expand the area in which we can drill. be neutral here.
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what is the truth about that issue? >> well, the truth about the issue, savannah, is that it's an extremely large revenue source to this government, andraly y heoipruc uny'gornnt so tres generally underlying cash region, why you want to get oil companies producing. the problem is, the oil companies buy the leases with the knowledge that it might not be economic to produce right out of the gate. they're buying a portfolio of options. they don't always want to be forced to take them. force them to drill quickly, they won't pay as much for the leases and the government might lose money. >> so do the republicans have a good argument or not? we should expand them further and let them have leases in alaska's, you know, wildlife refuge or elsewhere in the gulf. >> i think expanding drilling has generally been a preferred policy. in 1978, jimmy carter himself was the one who put the 30-day turnaround on gulf of mexico exploration plans. the imperative to get more domestic energy isn't widely debated. the question is, where you're going to do it. it's kind of a weird thing, even
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thousa now, that we're drilling near beaches when we have all that caribou who have all that oil to themselves up in alaska. >> and i guess what i was surprised about yesterday was how they say, this time, it is deferent. this time, we really can get to this point where somehow we're so much less independent on foreign oil. and i asked secretary chu, why do you think that is? this whole things feel likes like drill, drill, drill. and he said, the different types of drilling, whether it's the shale drilling or natural gas, actually could become dominant. is there truth to that? >> something that hasn't changed, energy secretary chu knows full well his own energy administration has put out reports saying if we were to drill on every available piece of land right now, most of that new oil wouldn't come online for another ten years, and it would probably make a difference -- >> this includes the shale type of stuff drilling that they're doing too? >> not so much the shale, but the oil, the offshore and
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onshore oil. if you were to start a lot of new drilling right now, it wouldn't come online until about a decade from now and it would make a difference of about 3 cents per gallon in our gasoline prices. energy secretary chu knows that. so he's in a tough position, because he also has to shift his message a little bit. what he was referring to is, you know, this idea of use our energy. using natural gas from shale instead of oil and gasoline to fuel our cars. if there were to be a major transition like that. if we were to actually be putting something different in our cars, that could make a difference. and the problem for democrats, the problem for secretary chu is when you start to get into that explanation, it doesn't fit on a bumper sticker. you know, it doesn't message very well. >> and on that note, we are out of time, actually. >> i just want to use the banana peels as fuel? isn't that what they did in
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"back to the future"? we're not there yet. >> thank you for being here. we'll have you back for a longer discussion. april fools' came earlier, is it really snowing on major league baseball's opening day? although, opening day in march, i don't like that. it's a snow job. we'll get the check on the weather forecast and the baseball forecast, coming up. but first, our washington speak, sasc, you'll hear this one on capitol hill. it refers to the senate armed services committee. we know how washington loves its acronyms. of course, defense secretary gates and admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, are going to testify in front of the sasc today about operation odyssey dawn and the situation in libya. and we should remind you, senator cornyn is on that same committee. he'll join us live coming up on the show. >> we can't call it the sasc? >> you can, but nobody will know what you're talking about. if you have some washington speak you'd like us to clarify, send us an e-mail, dailyrundown@msnbc.com. phillips' caplets use magnesium,
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well, we're hearing dramatic new details from those four "new york times" journalists who were taken captive by the pro-gadhafi forces in libya. >> they were eventually released, but only after enduring six days of assaults and terrifying threats. they sat down this morning for an exclusive interview on nbc's "today" show. >> i think i was the first to be pulled from the car by a guard who was kicking and punching me. no more than two steps out of the car, you suddenly realize the rebels are firing. they're firing straight past you. you can see people running for cover. there's a guy pointing his kalashnikov right in your face and another firing with his from 100 meters away. and you're trying to judge, do i run and get shot by this guy or stay here and get shot by these guys. there's no right answer. >> unbelievable. and just remember, those journalists in covering the wars, our own richard engel, those folks, so many people, they're putting their lives on
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the line for this story. up next, donald trump. he joins us to talk about these white house ambitions. saying we need to take him more seriously. and he's joining forces with the birther movement. how do both of those ideas go together? take him seriously, birther movement. we'll ask him. >> we'll get to the bottom of that, we hope. plus, the boys of summer could be playing in the snow today, are you kidding me? which parts of the country are about to get whacked with a foot of snow. isn't it april -- no, it's march 31st. still! first our question from t"te almanac of american politics", which sitting governor is the first hispanic to hold all three of these positions in his state, governor, attorney general, and federal judge? the answer coming up on "the daily rundown." now save me even more on my hotel? well, hotels know they can't fill every room every day. like this one. and this one.
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bottom of the hour. a quick look at what's driving
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thursday. >> well, nato took control of all air operations over libya this morning, this as four different congressional hearings on libya are planned for this morning and afternoon in washington. defense secretary robert gates and admiral mike mullen are testifying about libya right now in front of the house armed services committee. tea partyers will rally on capitol hill today at noon urging fellow republicans not to compromise on spending cuts, as they are trying to negotiate a federal budget for this year. and the opening bell has rung on wall street after a day of gains yesterday. dow futures were down slightly this morning ahead of training. a little baseball -- >> baseball theme day, and one day ahead of the big jobs report. tomorrow's going to be interesting, a new unemployment rate. we'll find out. all right. potential republican candidate donald trump has picked the media machine into high gear, telling anyone who will listen that president obama needs to show the world his birth certificate. it's predictably become fodder for late-night. >> why doesn't he show his birth
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certificate? >> he did produce a birth certificate. it was legally certified, people saw it. but who gives a [ bleep ]. dive in, donald. >> you know what i did yesterday, it was very interesting. i said, where's my birth certificate? get me my birth certificate. and they brought it to my office. i have it. >> and then you know what, i said, dip my birth certificate if gold, give it some fake [ bleep ], and tell it to wait in my bedroom. that's how easy it is. trump 2012. i'm hired. >> all right. is donald trump serious about a run for the white house? well, his reignition of the birther controversy prove a viable strategy? donald trump joins us now by the phone. mr. trump, thanks for being with us. >> good morning. >> well, let's just start right there. if you want to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, do you think this issue of the president's birth is the most serious issue facing the country that you could use your considerable profile and popularity to raise or does it
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feed into the perception that this is just kind of a side show? >> well, i do think it's a serious issue, savannah, but i also think that a lot of people, frankly, like yourselves and joe and mika, they bring it up as the first question. bill o'reilly, who's on tonight and we're going to discuss china and other things, but the fact is that bill o'reilly, the first question he asked me was about the birther. >> but, wait a minute, mr. trump, you are a sophisticated consumer of media. you know that if you raise this issue, that is going to catch headlines. you could downplay it. you could end this right now if you wanted to. >> i am embracing the issue. and i'm proud of the issue. i think somebody has to embrace it, because, frankly, the people that are -- and i don't like the name "birther," because i think it's very unfair and i think it's very derogatory to a lot of very good people that happen to think that there's a possibility that this man was not born in this country. and by the way, if that were true -- you know, it's very interesting. if that were true, it would be the greatest scam in the history of this country.
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so i feel that there is certainly a chance that he was not born in this country. now, if he were not born in this country, that means he can't be president! it's very simple. arnold schwarzenegger cannot run for president because he wasn't born in the country. >> but mr. trump -- >> the problem i have is, it's hit such a nerve that every time i talk to you and chuck, who i respect dearly and greatly, as i think you're too great pros, but look at the first question you asked me, it's about the birther. why didn't you ask me about china, why didn't you ask me about the fact that opec is ripping us off. why don't you ask me about the fact that the arab league is asking us to fight and they're not paying us for it. >> let me ask you this -- >> you start off with the president. >> let me ask you this, why do you believe this when -- do you really believe that the clinton machine, circa 2007, actually didn't spend some time looking into this? do you really believe that john mccain and the clinton campaign really would have rolled over
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and participated in this grand conspiracy? that's what i've never understood about this. >> it's not that much of a conspiracy. it's very simple. >> it's an incredible conspiracy. >> chuck, it's really not. if you look at what's taken place, it's really not. he came in, he was -- we all agree, he was born. okay, we're all so happy that he was born. okay, now, the ad was put in -- >> it's not an ad. wait a minute, birth notices and death notices are standard. >> it was three days later, three days after the fact, many things could have happened. and he doesn't have a birth certificate. and his family is arguing over which hospital he was born in. the family doesn't even know the name of the hospital. no nurses, no doctors, nobody ever came forward. and by the way, there's a huge difference between a birth certificate and a certificate of birth. one confirms the records and records the newborn's identity
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in great detail, and the other one just said somebody was born. it's a huge difference. do you know that if you have a certificate of birth, you can't get a driver's license. do you know that if you have a certificate of birth, you can't get a marriage license? >> can i just ask a question? just so we understand your theory here -- >> are we going to get to china. >> yes, although i have to say, mr. trump, this issue irritates you, yet you're clinging to the theory -- >> no, it irritates everybody else and i don't understand it. i'll tell you, a poll just came out where 50 odd percent of the republicans think he wasn't born in this country, so obviously there are a lot of smart people thinking maybe it's so. why does -- savannah, savannah, why doesn't he issue his birth certificate? >> he did. >> he did. he put it on a website. but let me ask you something, mr. trump. i want to make sure i understand the theory. you're saying he's born somewhere else, i suppose maybe you think it's kenya, and the
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parents called hawaii to have the birth announcement placed in anticipation -- >> no, he could have come in -- >> -- decades later? >> savannah, he could have come in after birth, and a lot of people might want to be registered for purposes of hospitalization, for purposes of welfare, for purposes -- they might want to be registered as a citizen of this country. >> wasn't the birth announcement contemporaneous with his birth? >> no, because it wasn't filed contemporaneously. it was filed some time later. >> in the newspaper -- >> excuse me, excuse me. i've grown up watching some of the great thieves of the world, some of the great, most dishonest people. this is peanuts compared to what some of these bad guys do. so don't tell me -- i want to see the birth certificate, va vanna. it's very simple. not a certificate of birth, which means almost nothing. people can get very easily. >> that's all i have for my two kids. my two kids only got certificates of live birth from the district of columbia. >> i'll bet you that's not right. >> it's what it is.
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>> i bet you if you go to the hospital where your children were born, you will get from them the approval to go down to the department of health and your kids have birth certificates. >> let's move on -- >> chuck, unless they weren't born in this country, which i assume they were. i will get a birth certificate for your children. >> thank you. >> very easily. >> i want to talk about this idea of whether -- how committed you are to this. we've had conversations about this, is this about "celebrity apprentice" or is this -- why are you -- why should we take you more seriously this time that you're going to do this? are you ready to put all of your books, open your -- file the financial disclosure form that the federal election commission -- are you prepared for all that, are you getting your accountants ready to deal with the bankruptcies -- >> excuse me, i never went bankrupt -- >> not you, personally -- >> excuse me, chuck, i never went bankrupt. many of the people in this
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country many times have filed chapter 11s on various companies in order to reduce debt and do things that frankly should be done and i have done it very few times out of hundreds and hundreds of transactions, very few times. but i've done an unbelievable job by using the laws of the nation on companies, some of which i just own pieces of. so don't tell me i filed bankruptcy. i never filed bankruptcy. >> fair enough. chapter 11, i hear you. >> no, but you just said, you filed bankruptcy -- i am doing what kacarl icahn has done, i'm doing what numerous other guys , i won't mention names, you file chapter 11, come out a year later with hugely reduced debt. you've used the laws of this country, which is a very smart thing to do. >> should the united states -- >> by the way, which a lot of people think general motors should have done too. >> let me ask you this, should the united states do that with itsb yor t?
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ifouerpresidt? >>no wldt no, i wouldn't recommend that for the united states, because they can play a much harder game. >> another foreign policy question -- >> the united states has much more power than that. >> something -- >> and by the way, if the united states -- excuse me, savannah. if the united states were properly and if we had leaders who knew what they were doing, the united states would be employeeing in cash. as an example, we've spent over $1 billion so far in libya because the arab league, which is saudi arabia and others, wanted us to go in there and take care of somebody that they didn't like. these are the richest countries in the world and they don't pay us? >> would you arm the rebels in libya? >> i'd like to find out who the rebels are, because i'm hearing the rebels are involved with iran and i'm hearing they're al qaeda. so if they are, in fact, members of those two groups, and i heard many of those rebels were fighting us in iraq. they were fighting us. they were shooting. i heard over 20% of them were shooting at our soldiers in
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iraq. >> you're faced with two bad choices, the rebel versus gadhafi -- >> before i'd arm people, i'd find out what's going on. >> we'll have to leave it there. mr. trump, your timeline on a decision, mid-june, end of june, what is it at this point? >> no, i said very concisely that i will make a decision some time prior to june. >> but you can't announce it until after you're done with your commitments. >> your most successful show on nbc. you're on nbc. but believe it or not, i have, by far, your most successful show. which i think you'll confirm. that, i think you'll confirm. the birther, you won't. but that i think you'll confirm. >> it absolutely is. >> and i will be announcing some time prior to june. >> we want you on camera. >> we'll get you. we'll have a lot of fun together. >> all right, mr. trump. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> appreciate pinpoiit. >> good-bye. we asked which sitting governor is the first hispanic
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to old all three positions in his state. the answer, brian sandoval of north carolina. coming up next, can a government shutdown be averted? republican senator john cornyn will be here to discuss the latest on the deal that may be in the works. and we'll get his take on the other pressing foreign policy issue, whether to arm those rebels. it's a good day for soup, but not a good day for chicken tortilla. these guys need to check with the weather forecast. guess what we're having today? we're having a little matza ball soup in the white house booth thanks to our delhi. you're watching "the daily rundown" on msnbc. make a wish!
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and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. $33 billion in cuts from current spending. that's the number republican and democrat negotiators are aiming for to avoid a government shutdown just eight days from now. >> and with time running out, vice president biden made it clear last night there's still no deal in place. but he told capitol hill reporters, quote, there's no reason why with all that's going on in the world and with the state of the economy we can't reach an agreement to avoid a government shutdown, because the bottom line here is we're working off the same number. republican senator john cornyn serves both on the budget and armed services committee. never mind the fact that he's head of the campaign committee of 2012. but we're going to start with the budget. senator kome number, $33 billion, is this an
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agreed upon number? >> actually, the senate won't see that bill until it passes the house and comes over to us, but i hope he's right. because the american people want us to solve problems. they don't want the gamesmanship and business as usual. >> so you mean, you hope he's right, that number okay with you? that sounds like a good number? >> i'd like more, but this is small ball compared to the big issues like the debt limit. it's a $1.5 trillion deficit. so we're going to have to cut more next year. and we're also going to have to take our foot off the neck of the economy and get the private sector back to work so we can increase revenue into the treasury at the same time and close that gap. so this is just a little piece of the puzzle. >> senator, let's switch to the issue of libya, the big question before you, the president and the administration is whether or not to have american dollars spent arming the rebels, and presumably training them to use those arms, were we to do it.
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w i know the chairman of the house intelligence committee has expressed some reservations. it's unclear who exactly these rebels are. what's your view of this issue? >> i'm concerned we don't know who the rebels are and that al qaeda and other terrorist organizations, even though they may not be present in large numbers now, will take advantage of the disruption in libya and come, as they have, in iraq and afghanistan. foreign firefightghters come frr places to participate in this civil war. so i think we need more information and i hope we get it before we commit ourselves further. >> senator, are you comfortable with the directive that intelligence officials have told us that the president has signed, which essentially allows for covert operations to take place in libya, which we're told is the first step to at least identifying who these rebels are and see which ones can be trusted and which one can't? >> well, i think we need to know who they are. and i agree, certainly, before
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we do anything else. but, you know, chuck, the president really did not consult with congress, and he pretty much has tried to go this alone. i understand that he said, well, we need to take out this rmita oecveller, gadhafi n i inth'sgo tbe a minimum objective for the american government, is to take gadhafi out. you can't stop the killing and the humanitarian crisis unless you stop the killer. and that's gadhafi. >> to follow up on that, so you do think the u.s. should try to take gadhafi out militarily, and presumably you're willing to do what it takes toward that end, which may be u.s. ground troops? >> well, i think the president's talked about ground troops, he's talked about handing this off to nato, but the president really has tried to have it both ways. hos he's said, gadhafi needs to leave. i think gadhafi needs to go if you're going to stop the humanitarian crisis. >> how would you accomplish that? >> by any means necessary. i think shehe's shown over the t
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24 years as being the head of libya that he's a murderer, he's atyrant, he's oppressing and murdering his own people and we need to eliminate him, now that the president has started this military intervention, basically without consultation of congress and informing us what he was going to do. but we need have a more row abuse debate in the congress about what the objectives are. we need to know what the president's plan is. he has not told us what his plan is other than to hand the hot potato off to nato. >> 22% of the budget. let me ask you this, senator, do you believe -- would you like to see a formal congressional resolution sought by the white house? do you think congress needs to do this? you guys had a nonbinding resolution, which called for the no-fly zone in the nonbinding -- endorsed the idea. do you think there needs to be a binding congressional resolution on libya? >> i think that would be a good idea. the president, frankly, is kind of out here on his own. and i would think he would want
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a buy-in from congress, and certainly the american people, about what the objectives are. and what his plan should be. because, otherwise, if this thing turns out badly, which i hope it does not, then you know, he's the one out there without congress, and without the american people buying in to what the plan is. >> all right. senator john cornyn of texas. it's good to have you here on our range of topics, sir. >> thank you. >> and we'll be right back. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike
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major league baseball players say they're ready to go back to work tonight. a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction ordering the owners to reinstate last year's rules. >> there you go. flashback this date in 1995, federal judge who made that key ruling, she's now a supreme court justice, and avid yankees fan, sonia sotomayor. she issued that injunction against the owners on this day in 1995. the 234-day strike ended two days later.
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incidentally, today is opening day for major league baseball. the first pitches will be thrown out at yankee stadium and national park at 1:05 eastern time. this afternoon. and who wants to sit out there in this weather? >> and breathe. the start of april could bring more than a foot of snow to parts of the northeast. a massive springtime storm is bearing down on the region. are you kidding me? it's the same system that blanketed parts of iowa yesterday, the midwest, check out those pictures. forecasters say this nor'easter could bring heavy rain to parts of new jersey, even trigger some flooding. and further north it's going to turn into snow in new york and new england. the weather should clear out by tomorrow afternoon but it could be a messy commute. we are so over it here. >> by the way, the new york yankees owe the baltimore orioles fans a big apology. they're letting mike mussina throw out the first pitch at yankee stadium against the tigers. i'm sorry his best years were as an oriole. it's an insult to orioles fan. but i'm feeling your pain today. go dodgers, beat the giants this
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year. go nationals, let us watch something that's competitive on the field, will you? >> but bundle up when you do. that's it for "the daily rundown." >> coming up next we've got chris jansing and company. >> and at 1:00, andrea mitchell is going to talk to mitch daniel today. >> and hardball at 5:00 and 7:00. sitting in for mr. matthews. [ male announcer ] 95% of all americans
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mission. the cia is on the ground gathering intelligence on e rebels. and defense chief the crisis in japan comes to u.s. shores. traces of radiation found in milk in two states here. what is the real health risk?

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